Day 2 of my 31 day July Challenge!
COLLEGE. The best 4 years of your life. At least that is what I was told college was suppose to be before I went away.
Ever since I was a young teenager I COULD NOT WAIT to move out of my parents house and FINALLY have a little bit of freedom and room to breath. I looked at colleges hours away and some close to home, but not too close.
Watching all these TV shows and movies I had a very unrealistic idea of what college was suppose to be like. I was NOT prepared for what college was actually like!
I only applied to 3 schools, Bloomsburg, Clarion, and Kutztown. I did a tour of all 3 and loved each one. Bloomsburg was #1 on my list since my brother had just graduated from there and he had the time of his life, because of him I was also a little more familiar with the school. Then, there was Clarion which I also loved, but it was in the middle of nowhere and too many hours away for me. Then, there was Kutztown which was about 2 hours away, was close to one of my good friend who was going to Penn State Berks, and has the cutest town ever. See where I am going with this yet?
For some reason it look Bloomsburg forever to get back to me with an answer and by the time I had received my acceptance letter I had already committed to Kutztown.
I wanted so badly to love Kutztown and in a way I did, but it was just the right place at the wrong time.
That first day that my parents moved me in I was already freaking out. I knew I should have been enjoying every second of my newfound freedom and the new chapter in my life, but I was in a panic. I threw myself into something I was NOT ready for. Everyone I met there was so nice and the town was so beautiful and the campus made me feel like a real college student, but there was just something missing. It wasn’t home.
I HATED not having my own space and privacy. When you grow up living in a nice home with your own big bedroom and nice clean bathroom, switching to a tiny ass dorm room and a shared bathroom is a nightmare. I also did not have any service in my room, meaning I could not text, talk on the phone, or Skype with my boyfriend. In order to make a phone call I had to sit outside the building to talk. After a few weeks of that my parents gave me their old landline phone to use. I could not call out on it though, so I had to give my boyfriend and parents a specific time every night to call me. I felt like I was living in a whole new world.
Within that first week of classes I was already begging my parents to let me come home and go to school closer to home. They would not budge though. For whatever reason they wanted me to stick it out and give it a chance, which I tried. I tried to hang out with people on campus, I didn’t have a car with me for the first 2 months so a friend at a college nearby would come pick me up and I would spend some days with her. This was a best friend who I have been close with since 3rd grade. I thought being with someone familiar would make things better, but it wasn’t enough.
I cannot tell you how many tears were shed that first semester. I cried just about everyday, sometimes a few times a day for almost 3 months straight. I was going through some major depression to the point where I just always wanted to be alone. I stopped hanging out with my roommate and new friends, stoped going to half of my classes, stoped eating in public, I was just alone. I don’t know how many times I would fake sleep when my roommate would come in because I just did not want to be bothered by anyone. The only time I would leave my dorm was for some of my classes that I could not miss, to grab food to bring back, to talk outside on my phone, or to go behind the water tower and cry.
Oh, that water tower. I would sit there in the grass alone and call everyone and cry for them to pick me up. Most the time it was my boyfriend and my parents that I would call, one time it was even my brother who I am not even that close with. My boyfriend would always tell me that I was fine and that I could do it, but I knew I couldn’t.
Ever since that first week of school my dad came down to pick me up every Friday when he got out of work and I would get to enjoy the weekend at home. My dad hated doing it, but it was the only way I could get through the week. It was hard to enjoy that limited time at home though, since I knew it wasn’t going to be long until I had to go back up to school again. Every Sunday afternoon my dad would bring me back to school and I would cry the whole 2 hours back and then once he left I would go to the water tower and cry for a little bit longer.
I would take sleeping pills In the middle of the day hoping that I could pass the time by sleeping a little bit, but it never worked.
It wasn’t long before it become obvious that I was not going to last at that school. My parents told me to stick it out for the semester and then I would come home. I counted down the days that I would be able to pack my stuff up and be home for good. I could not wait.
Toward the middle of the semester my father got tired of bringing me back and forth every weekend, so they finally let me bring my car up there, which helped a little bit. At this point through the depression was getting worse and I was only staying at the dorm a few times a week. I had made arrangements with a few of my teachers where they would send me the notes from class so that I would not physically have to be there. I was half living back at home and half up at school. I don’t remember exactly how I did it, but I think I went up to school Tuesdays and stayed until Friday afternoon and then I would come home for a few days. Thats what I ended up doing for the rest of my time up there.
I cannot explain the weight lifted off my shoulder when I was getting in my car to leave that place for good. I felt like I could finally breath for the first time in 3 months.
For someone who so badly wanted to leave home I still don’t understand what went wrong. Looking back, I wish I loved it. At the time I was so depressed and didn’t want to be there, but now I can’t help but to think about how nice of a school that was and how it would have fit me so well. I just wasn’t ready though. I wasn’t ready to have to make all new friends all alone, I wasn’t ready to share a tiny space with some random girl, I wasn’t ready to just be in a unfamiliar place all by myself. Another big factor was that I was in my first real relationship from back home. He was a senior in high school when I went away and he didn’t have his own car to come down and see me or anything. The long distance thing just added to everything and its not even like we were that far from each other. I saw him every weekend, but when you go from seeing someone every single day to only a few hours Friday night and Saturday, its tough. That was just the cherry on top.
When I came home I was all over the place. I never took time off so, once I finished my first semester I came home and spent my second semester at a local community college. To me, after being somewhere where I did not really know anyone and then going to a community college, I actually loved it. I saw familiar faces everywhere I turned, that was everything. My second year of school I was going to a local Penn State branch campus. Still living at home, but I was on campus most of the day for school and work study. Once again, I was surrounded by people I knew from high school, but by the end of that year I was kind of over it. By that time I think I was about 20 years old and I felt ready to leave again. This time, my boyfriend (still the same boyfriend) was in college. He did a year at the same local community college that I was at my second semester.
I had found a school in Williamsport (Pennsylvania College of Technology), which was almost 2 hours from home. It had both my major and my boyfriends major, which it was very hard to find a school that had both since I was a business major and he was an automotive major. Penn Tech had both though, so I told him if he gets in then we will both go up there for school. I remember I was working at a restaurant when he called me and told me he got in. I kind of went into a mini panic. All I wanted to go was go away to school again, this time with him, but I didn’t put too much thought into it. It was kind of a lets just see where it goes situation.
To make a long story a little shorter, we got a place in Williamsport and after my last two years of my 4 year college journey, that is where I graduated from. I finally was able to go away to college, this time with my boyfriend, and I got to experience the college life. I got to enjoy being a broke ass college kid, going to boring pointless parties, working as a dishwasher making close to nothing, and just having that freedom that I always wanted.
So, my advise to anyone who is in the process of picking a college, don’t bite off more then you can chew like I did. I know as a 17-18 year old you cannot wait to move away from home, but make sure you are ready for that. Being on your own knowing no-one and not being familiar with the area is tough. Some people can handle it and some need to hold off for a little bit. College can be a good time and a great experience if your ready for it. Although I went through hell and major depression that first semester being away, I don’t regret it. It was hard, but in a way I am glad I experienced it and I learned a lot about myself.